Roberto Nelson came into the game leading the Pac-12 in scoring at 21.5 per game and needing 22 points to move into sixth on Oregon State's all-time scoring list. The junior guard finished with 26 points, hitting 5 of 6 free throws in the final 1:08, as the Beavers held off Washington State for a 66-55 win Wednesday night. "He rarely forced anything out there today," Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said of Nelson, "and then he made the foul shots that we needed him to make." Angus Brandt's jumper just over 3 minutes into the game gave the Beavers (11-7, 3-3 Pac-12) a 4-2 lead and they never trailed again. Brandt finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Devon Collier added 10 points, nine of which came after the intermission. Washington State, however, wouldn't go away. D.J. Shelton scored a career-high 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds, while almost single-handedly keeping WSU in the game in the second half. Que Johnson added 15 points. Shelton had 18 after the intermission. The Cougars shot 50 percent (24 of 48) from the field and 43 percent (6 of 14) from 3-point range, their second best performance from behind the arc this season. Eric Moreland's jumper with 9:26 left in the first half gave Oregon State a 21-11 lead, but WSU used a 6-2 spurt to make it a two-possession game. Langston Morris-Walker's 3-pointer with 4:52 before the break pushed the lead back to double-digits, 27-17, but a pair of dunks by Junior Longrus and a jumper by Shelton helped WSU trim its deficit to 33-27 by halftime. The Cougars committed eight first half turnovers. "I think we turned the ball over early in the game," WSU coach Ken Bone said. "We had six or seven turnovers about 8 minutes. We were careless with the ball and we can do that." But WSU opened the second half with turnovers on each of its first two possessions and, despite shooting the ball about as well as it has all season, couldn't overcome the early hole it dug for itself. "It was frustrating," Shelton said of his team's performance, "we just couldn't dig out." Oregon State came into the game shooting better than 53 percent from 3-point range in Pac-12 play but made just 5 of 13 3-point shots. The Beavers, however, got 26 points in the paint and scored 10 second-chance points on five offensive rebounds. "We think that we have some good front court players and we want to take advantage of that," Robinson said. "We went down to Angus right away. Eric (Moreland) didn't get many shots today because Devon was playing so well, so it is nice to sort of have a troika of guys to go to." The success that Brandt had early on and Collier had in the second half opened things up on the perimeter for Oregon State. Brandt scored six of Oregon State's first 12 points. Then came the double-teams. "At first I didn't handle it very well," Brandt said. "I threw (one pass) straight to Coach Bone." "I learned to adjust. The coaches came to me and said, 'Look, this is where the double is coming from, this is what we want you to do to get out of it,' and I kind of just adjusted. Thankfully, my teammates were good about getting open and helping me out when I got doubled like that."
Roberto Nelson leads Oregon State to 66-55 win over Washington State
Oregonian | Jan 23